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We’ve got 2018 NN mock draft 1.0

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The 49ers have some big needs and could go in a host of directions with their first round pick.

The 2018 NFL Draft is a little over three months away, and this week brings the start of a significant step in the pre-draft process. The Shrine Game and NFLPA Collegiate Bowl take place this weekend, followed by the Senior Bowl next week. All three games feature a week of practices where teams are on hand to evaluate and meet with draft prospects.

Now that we’re into the offseason pre-draft process, Greg Valerio and Alex Eisen put together their first mock drafts of the year. We’ll have another around the NFL Combine, and at least one or two more leading up to the Draft. You can check out Greg and Alex’s mock drafts at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, here is a rundown of their respective picks. We have the 49ers slotted at No. 9. They will conduct a coin flip with the Oakland Raiders at the Combine to determine who picks No. 9 and who picks No. 10.

Greg Valerio: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Navy at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Although the selection is not a flashy pick, for me it’s a position of need and a prospect who is arguably one of the top-three best players in the draft class, as well as being a plug-and-play NFL starter and Pro-Bowl caliber player for years to come. Moreover, as a complete prospect, Nelson would provide elite protection to Jimmy Garoppolo as a tremendous force in pass protection and the dominance as a run-blocker to pave the way opening holes improving the 49ers’ run game.

A premier offensive guard, Nelson is an athletically gifted mauler with great length (long arms on a 6-foot-5-inch frame) and agility playing with a nasty and savvy mentality you like seeing in a guard prospect. A force in the run game, Nelson displays light fluid feet, great explosion, and excels pulling and reaching the second level quickly. He has a nice pop at the point of attack with violent hands, and also displays the athletic ability to swing his hips blocking in space when reaching the second level and/or pulling effectively creating clear lanes and is excellent with combo blocks. Nelson showcases great lateral agility adjusting to movement and mirroring well in pass protection maintaining superb balance. Occasionally, will get pushed back and put on skates, but is quick to regather sinking hips rolling power regaining leverage to stonewall defenders with tremendous strength and power (workout warrior). Possesses an excellent work ethic and mental discipline from studying Taekwondo.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Navy at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Alex Eisen: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Iowa v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 49ers have a pressing need in their secondary, particularly at cornerback. For the longest time the team has lacked a true number one shutdown cornerback. While this pick can go a number of different ways, I believe Jackson can be a vital and elite piece to add to Robert Saleh’s improving defense.

Jackson has great size and length for the position, and his athleticism and physical nature will transition well at the next level. His arm length and wingspan give Jackson the ability to get his hands on the football to break up plays and even create turnovers. Jackson has impressive versatility all over the field, and has demonstrated the ability to defend the short, intermediate, and deep routes. Watching his tape, Jackson demonstrated time and time again his ability to knock a receiver of his route, and make a play on the ball. His play against Ohio State truly put his name on the map with 3 interceptions. He makes his presence known against the run as well, and will fight through blocks. On tape, Jackson was utilized on multiple occasions in blitz packages, and has the speed and instincts to put pressure on the passer. Some concerns I see with Jackson include his inconsistent ability to run fluidly through his hips. While he can cover deep routes, he had some difficulties at time going pace-for-pace with the more speedy receivers. As he transitions to the next level, Jackson needs to continue to work on his balance, and run more fluidly through his hips.

His 40 time at the combine will be worthwhile. However, his body of work this season make him perhaps the best cornerback option this draft class has to offer. On numerous occasions this season Jackson provided positive momentum shifts for his team, whether it was breaking up a crucial pass, turnover, or pick-six. He might not be the most recognizable name in this draft class at the moment, but after you watch his tape, and get to know him throughout the process, Jackson should get you really excited as a potential number one corner.

2018 NN mock draft 1.0

Pick Team Greg LI49er
Pick Team Greg LI49er
1 Browns Sam Darnold, QB - USC Sam Darnold, QB - USC
2 Giants Josh Rosen, QB - UCLA Josh Rosen, QB - UCLA
3 Colts Saquon Barkley, RB - Penn State Bradley Chubb, DE - NC State
4 Browns Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB - Alabama Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB - Alabama
5 Broncos Baker Mayfield, QB - Oklahoma Baker Mayfield, QB - Oklahoma
6 Jets Lamar Jackson, QB - Louisville Saquon Barkley, RB - Penn State
7 Buccaneers Bradley Chubb, DE - NC State Arden Key, DE - LSU
8 Bears Connor Williams, OT - Texas Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama
9 49ers Quenton Nelson, OG - Notre Dame Joshua Jackson, CB - Iowa
10 Raiders Roquan Smith, LB - Georgia Roquan Smith, LB - Georgia
11 Dolphins Derwin James, S - Florida State Quenton Nelson, OG - Notre Dame
12 Bengals Mike McGlinchey, OT - Notre Dame Connor Williams, OT - Texas
13 Washington Josh Allen, QB - Wyoming Derwin James, S - Florida State
14 Packers Harold Landry, DE - Boston College Mike McGlinchey, OT - Notre Dame
15 Cardinals Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama Lamar Jackson, QB - Louisville
16 Ravens Courtland Sutton, WR - SMU Courtland Sutton, WR - SMU
17 Chargers Orlando Brown, OT - Oklahoma Rashaan Evans, LB - Alabama
18 Seahawks Derrius Guice, RB - LSU Orlando Brown, OT - Oklahoma
19 Cowboys Da’Ron Payne, DT - Alabama Vita Vea, DT - Washington
20 Lions Vita Vea, DT - Washington Da'Ron Payne, DT - Alabama
21 Bills Maurice Hurst, DT - Michigan Josh Allen, QB - Wyoming
22 Bills Rashaan Evans, LB - Alabama Denzel Ward, CB - Ohio State
23 Rams Denzel Ward, CB - Ohio State Billy Price, C/G - Ohio State
24 Panthers Arden Key, DE - LSU Sam Hubbard, DE - Ohio State
25 Titans Marcus Davenport, DE - UTSA Harold Landry, DE - Boston College
26 Atlanta Billy Price, OG/C - Ohio State Ronnie Harrison, S - Alabama
27 Saints Tremaine Edwards, LB - Virginia Tech Isaiah Wynn, G/C - Georgia
28 Steelers Malik Jefferson, LB - Texas Tremaine Edmunds, LB - Virginia Tech
29 Jaguars Mark Andrews, TE - Oklahoma Mark Andrews, TE - Oklahoma
30 Eagles Joshua Jackson, CB - Iowa Kolton Miller, OT - UCLA
31 Patriots Carlton Davis, CB - Auburn Marcus Davenport, DE - UTSA
32 Vikings Harrison Phillips, DT - Stanford Maurice Hurst, DT - Michigan